The Closer Report: Small Slate of Games a Gold Mine for Closers

Todd Farino@truegurufarinoCorrespondent IJune 2, 2009

NEW YORK - APRIL 29:  Matt Lindstrom #22 of the Florida Marlins throws a pitch against the New York Mets on April 29, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Marlins defeated the Mets 4-3.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)


There were only nine games in the majors today; not the biggest prospect for saves.

But the short day ended big for closers as eight of nine games ended with a save.

Among the more important saves, the Marlins' Matt Lindstrom came back after his last performance and pitched very well, striking out two while giving up one hit. He didn't walk anyone and had solid command—great news for Lindstrom owners.
Matt Capps owners can breathe a sign of relief as well. Capps pitched a near perfect inning for Pittsburgh in the Pirates' 8-5 win over the Mets. He commanded all of his pitches and looked very sharp. It has been a tough season for Capps, and this appearance can only help him in the long run.
Tony Pena Jr. got the save for Arizona in a 3-2 win over the Dodgers. Pena came in for Chad Qualls, who complained of stiffness in his forearm. It wasn't Pena's finest performance of the season.
He gave up two unearned runs after a Felipe Lopez throwing error, but at that point there was one out and two runners on. He could have gotten out of it unscathed, but gave up the two runs.
I'd be a little worried about Qualls if you own him. I recommend picking up Rauch or Pena in reserve. Our guess is Jon Rauch will get the call if Qualls is down for any length of time. Right now he is considered day-to-day.
Finally, George Sherrill nailed his 11th save of the season preserving a 1-0 lead is Baltimore beat Seattle. These are the kinds of saves we like to see; a closer coming into a 1-0 game and sealing the deal. Sherrill has looked great after a rough start, and with the Orioles winning more he looks to be a 40-save candidate.

Other Appearances
Brad Lidge (13)—This is the fourth consecutive save for Lidge and another strong outing. I'm still not sure if I'm sold, but he is looking calm again.
LaTroy Hawkins (1)—Valverde is out and Hawkins could be chalking up the saves.
Francisco Cordero (14)—Another strong inning and another save for Cordero.
Mariano Rivera (11)—He is racking up the saves with a hot Yankee team. He's right where he should be.